“This could be it:” Ben Roethlisberger talks about final regular season game at Heinz Field

PITTSBURGH — Will Monday night’s game at Heinz Field be the last home game of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s career?

“This is the most important game of the season for us right now,” Roethlisberger said during a press conference. “All signs are pointing to: This could be it. In terms of regular seasons, signs are pointing this way that this could be it.”

There’s been speculation that Roethlisberger would retire after this season.

“It’s 18 years. It’s almost half my life I’ve given to this city and this team and the fans. I know I still have it in the tank this week to go out there this week and next week and give it everything I have, and do everything I can to get us into the post season,” Roethlisberger said. “I can’t sit here all week and just be nostalgic and think about everything that my career has been when I just have to focus on this game. This is the most important game of the season for us right now.”

“My focus is winning this game,” Roethlisberger said. “If it is indeed my last regular season game, it’s going to be one of the most important games of my career.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Drafted in 2004, the 6-foot, 5-inch, 240-pound quarterback, affectionately dubbed “Big Ben,” played his college ball at Miami (Ohio). In his first NFL season, he was third on the depth chart behind starter Tommy Maddox and backup Charlie Batch. Batch was injured in the preseason, moving Roethlisberger up to the backup position. In just the second game of the season, Roethlisberger would be asked to step up again, this time after Maddox went down with an injury. Roethlisberger went on to lead the Steelers to the AFC Championship Game later that season, where he squared off for the first time against the eventual Super Bowl winner, the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots.

Roethlisberger was voted to the Pro Bowl six times, won the NFL Rookie of the Year award in his first season and has been the NFL passing yards leader twice.

He holds the Steelers record for most passing yards, with more than double the number of yards as Terry Bradshaw, the second-place holder. Roethlisberger also holds the franchise record for most passing touchdowns.